Legislative Update - February 16, 2023
It is hard to believe we are already over a month into this year’s legislative session! I am inviting you all to join me for a Town Hall on Tuesday, February 28th from 7:00-8:00 pm at the Wayzata City Hall (600 Rice St. E). Senator Kelly Morrison will join me to answer your questions and discuss key issues facing the legislature this session! You can RSVP on Facebook and share with your friends and family here!
House Floor Votes
My colleagues and I have been working hard to pass legislation to make Minnesotans’ lives better. In the past month, we passed the Drivers Licenses for All bill, which restores legal driving privileges to our undocumented neighbors that were revoked in 2003. We passed a bill designating Juneteenth as a state holiday as well as the “Restore the Vote” Act, which puts Minnesota in line with 21 other states that restore the right to vote to individuals convicted of a felony once they are released from incarceration.
We also took up bills to expand public safety, voting for legislation to boost funding for the state’s public defenders—who currently suffer from understaffing and pay equity issues compared to public prosecutors and a bill to increase funding for our Attorney General’s office to help counties prosecute complicated criminal cases.
Last week, the House voted to pass two important bills aimed at addressing food insecurity in our schools and community. We passed a bill to provide free breakfast and lunch for all Minnesota school kids. One in four students who experience food insecurity do not qualify for existing free and reduced meal programs—this bill closes that gap and removes the stigma of being a part of these programs. We also passed legislation to deliver $5 million in emergency funding for food shelves considering record numbers of visits to food shelves last year. I have been proud to support all these important bills!
Climate Committee Update
In 2021, Congress passed President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provided support for clean energy projects. In 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act was passed and included the largest investment in fighting climate change in U.S. history. This week, we heard my bill to create a Minnesota State Competitiveness Fund, which ensures that Minnesota-based projects are in the best position to receive those funds. My bill ensures that state resources are available to tribal nations, schools, and businesses and that these opportunities are accessible to historically disadvantaged communities that need assistance the most. This is a once-in-a-generation investment in Minnesota’s energy systems, and I am proud to be carrying the bill. You can watch a recording of the hearing here.
That is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to promoting a clean energy future. We also heard a bill creating a program to help cities develop climate action plans, a proposal giving cities grants for purchasing and installing solar panels on public buildings, and legislation ensuring that workers who build renewable energy infrastructure are paid the prevailing wage. City leaders have told us they want the option to transition to sustainable sources of energy but have found a barrier to entry when it comes to start-up costs, and these bills seek to help them get started!
Staying in touch
Please reach out if you have any questions or feedback you would like to share. You can contact me by email at email@example.com or call (651) 296-9934.